Updated: Jul 25, 2019
I discovered "Unmedicated" on a site that I found by chance called DailyOm. I signed up to receive the daily emails and I had even begun to use the passages as part of my mediation practice. I loved what it started to do for my emotional well being, it seemed like on certain days Madisyn even knew exactly what was going on in my life.
I ended up signing up for a course called "7 weeks to Self-Love" shortly after and I immediately knew this was going to be a site that I would fall in love with. The course was offered with the option of selecting how much you want to pay. No matter how much you paid, you would receive the same course as everybody else. They trusted that people would be honest and support the author of the course with whatever they can afford. I thought this was SO awesome that they made the course accessible to everyone.
So when I received the email that I had the option to pre-order Unmedicated for a ridiculously low price, I didn't even look to see what it was about, I just bought it. I had even forgotten that I ordered it when it came in weeks later. Nonetheless, I opened the book and started to read. I didn't even make it through the first page of the Introduction before putting it down. She talked about how she dealt with depression and anxiety and I thought "this book isn't for me, I don't have anxiety or depression."
Fast forward a couple of months and I decide to dust the book off and give it a shot, again. I can't even tell you how grateful I am that I gave it another chance. I related to her SO much and at some points I even felt like she was telling parts of my story.
She's real, raw, and open with her readers and I admire her so much for her courage to tell the world about her struggles and that was just in the Introduction. Yea, the Introduction that I didn't even give a chance.
The book is then broken down into "The Four Pillars of Natural Wellness." The way it is designed to be read is that you take at least a week (or longer if you need) to devote to each pillar with practices included. It's not a read in one sitting or over 2 days kind of book. The idea is to take your time and really absorb the content of each pillar. I also recommend a journal if you don't already have one, there's lots of reflection that will happen throughout the book.
Pillar One: Clear Your Mind; Madisyn informs the readers of the benefits of meditation while giving an awesome guide to follow for those who may not have any idea where to start. I LOVED this pillar because this was something that I had been investing lots of time and energy into already. It was wonderful to have additional tools to apply to my growing practice.
Pillar Two: Nurture Your Spirit; really hit home for me because at the time I was struggling with my religion. I was raised Catholic and while I firmly believe in God, I didn't believe in all of the Catholic traditions and it caused me to question my faith. I took longer than a week in Pillar Two, I prayed about it a lot. During this period, I realized that I can still have faith and love God without needing a title or religious preference. I am confidant that God hears me, sees me, and loves me just like he does all of his other believers. I have faith and I'm spiritual without choosing a side. I love all souls and think that we all deserve a chance to be loved as well.
Pillar Three: Strengthen Your Body; reminded me of how important it is to observe what we put into our bodies and how to treat it with love. It's not about any diet. It's about being mindful of what we eat and how it benefits us a whole. Believe it or not the foods that we eat play a big role in our mental health. I needed a reality check big time, since my wedding (November 2017) I had been falling off course BIG time. This reminded me how my diet was affecting me all around. It reminded me how much better I felt when I was conscious of what I was eating. It also made me feel like shit and I gave the book a break for alittle while. I mean who wants to hear that they are screwing up? lol But it's also necessary and Madisyn calling me out is exactly what I needed.
Pillar Four: Find Your Tribe; I'm still messing around with this one. I have always thought at that if I had been "friends" with someone for years that person needed to remain in my life forever. That's far from true. Now, I'm not saying you need to get rid of all of your friends and find new ones. I'm saying that sometimes we grow in different directions and sometimes friendships are only supposed to last a season or two. Your tribe should cheer you on, shout you out, and support you no matter if it's something they are interested in or not. When I started yoga, no one that I knew practiced or would even entertain the idea of doing it. At first I was hurt and wanted to breakup with all of my friends, lol. But what I enjoy doesn't have to be what they enjoy, I still have support from them and they even recognize how it's changed me as a person. The friends that I did drop were the ones who brought me down, always complained, and were only there when it was convenient for them. I don't need/want that in my life. I want to learn, grow, and flourish with my tribe. You should always be ready and willing to add to your tribe.
Lastly, the book concludes with a review of all pillars, kinda like spark notes. She even lists additional resources so that you can continue on the path of natural wellness.
I don't believe that you need to be suffering from depression or anxiety to take something from this book. I believe that you have to want to be the best version of yourself. I often question what I'm doing or what I should be doing next on my journey and this book provided me with so much information for growth. I believe it will always be a guide that I can fall back on or pull out when I need to remember that I'm not alone.
Peace, Love, Yoga
Crazy Cajun Yogi